Healthcare, skills on coal major radar

Union coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on Tuesday inaugurated a 10-bed hospital for BPL families in Ranchi's Gandhi Nagar locality, cardiac treatment facility, including telemedicine, at Central Coalfields Limited hospitals and a livelihood scheme for "barefoot managers" jointly with IIM-R.

Soon after landing at Birsa Munda Airport, Jaiswal drove straight to Gandhi Nagar at Kanke Road. Earlier, he was scheduled to first go to Indian Institute of Coal Management (IICM) guesthouse to rest, but he chose to inaugurate the hospital first.

After reaching the hospital, Jaiswal inquired about what it offered. On being told that it was solely dedicated to BPL families, he asked whether it was meant only for BPL families displaced by CCL mining projects. He smiled after learning that all the BPL families in general could avail free medical treatment at this hospital. In fact, this was the first hospital of its kind in the entire state fully dedicated to healthcare of BPL families.

While handing over the first registration card to one Malti Devi of nearby Nawadih locality, he asked her how long she had been waiting. And, within a few minutes after the inaugural ceremony, over a 100 BPL patients queued by to avail free medical treatment.

Chief medical superintendent P.K. Gupta said five doctors would be posted at the hospital. Four among them have already assumed charge and the fifth is expected to join soon. As it would function as a referral hospital, serious patients would be sent to nearby CCL hospital.

"This hospital has been set up under CCL's corporate social responsibility programme. The proposal to set up this hospital was approved in August last year," Gupta added.

The cardiac treatment facility, to start at Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) hospitals, also spells a new healthcare chapter. "Any resident of Jharkhand can come to the company's hospitals for cardiac treatment," said CCL chairman-cum-managing director Gopal Singh.

To add to this, Delhi-based cardiologist Rajeev Rathi promised to offer telephonic consultancy round the clock.

The Union minister also launched a youth-centric programme devised by IIM-R for the welfare of families affected by the coal major's different mining projects. Called barefoot managers' programme, a five-day training will address queries on how youths can optimally use education and skills to earn a good living. "We will tell participants how to make best use of their talents and skills by showing them the right direction," said M.J. Xavier, director, IIM-R.